Preserving Cultural Heritage Through the Lens of Postcolonialism.

I described myself as an allocentric tourist even though I did not fully meet the requirements of this category. I embarked on this journey alone after I heard about a community by name Wassa Domama in the Mpohor Wassa East District in the western region of Ghana from my lecturer Gabriel Eshun, PhD. For the first time I travelled alone with my backpack rather than the usual organised mass trips with my colleagues in school which made me a mid-centric tourist. The unique feature about this community that served as a catalyst for my visit was the existence of a geological feature which was regarded as a shrine by the local community. It is located in a small sacred groove called the “Bosom Kese” known as THE GREAT GOD. It appears to compromise a rock pedestal, like those of the Sahara or Kalahari Desert with mammoth, three rising rocks forming three skyscrapers. This shrine’s formation is also surrounded by a forest of high trees, ancient vines, and thick undergrowth with high canopy formation. I was overwhelmed when I bumped into this magnificent scene of creation. An Old folk in the village has likened this stupendous figure to the architecture of THE FLAGSTAFF HOUSE, which is the official seat of government of the Republic of Ghana.  Lianas from surrounding trees are used as climbing aids if an individual wants to get to the top of the rocks. The shrine is believed to have curative powers which people travel from far and wide to receive and not forgetting the numerous benefits that are driven from it such as; monetary, spiritual among others. These were thoughts of the indigenes in pre and early stages of postcolonial days until tourism was introduced. Most postcolonial writers have described tourism as a neo-colonial project since tourism in a way has caused historical, social, political and cultural change or erosion to the indigenous people. Its intangible elements has become objects of ridicule and are discarded, what is traditional has become superstition and often associated with witchcraft and sorcery forgetting that Cultural  heritage is part of a community’s identity, strengthens the common sense of social cohesion and also a recognition of traditions and times from long ago. It is not surprising that the make-up of Ghanaian scene today is something of a demographic and cultural mosaic. A critical look at these names elucidates on the term cultural mosaic, Lois Beryl Brown and Akua Amoatemaa Acheampong ; They are both Gnanaians but Lois Beryl Brown rings no bell until you meet her. Surprisingly there are a lot of advantages or positives in this industry. It is revealed that tourism fetches the victimized geographical area innumerable benefits which serves as a catalyst for development. When I visited this community, I was informed that they had benefited from a rural electrification project which was embarked upon by the government three months earlier and as a result of that they had electricity which I can attest to. According to the assemblyman, the acquisition of most of the electricity poles and refurbishment of their community clinic was realised through tourism revenues. Brilliant but needy students are also supported with tourism gains. Tourism has also created employment for the locals of the community and its surrounding villages. This clearly shows the incalculable benefits derived from tourism towards the development of local communities.

 

 

 

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Author:

Tourism Expert Postcolonial Writer Photographer Culture Activist

18 thoughts on “Preserving Cultural Heritage Through the Lens of Postcolonialism.

  1. Nice piece, I believe there are numerous of such attractions or unique features in many communities in Ghana and it is high time we get people like you educating the general public on the essentials of such attractions and the need to preserve them. Kudos my brother this is a step in the right direction.

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  2. This is an excellent piece! Your initiative in exploring this “village” is admirable and something that Ghana and many other African countries need to do. Tourism though next to the last thing on politicians mind mind is exactly what makes countries unique and worth visiting. We can talk of the Pyramids of Egypt: a great source of financial gain and uniqueness for Egypt, The Great Wall of China……., and Boti falls or Slave castles and others for Ghana. The major difference is, the level of support and acknowledgement from the reapective countries of making these places tourist areas. Some students from universities in the US embarked on academic exchange with a university in Ghana. As part of the trip, they were to visit some tourist places in Ghana. After a long day of exploration which was filled with lots of picture taking and journal entries, they came back to the only restaurant in the center for food. On the black board and chalk menu, they had rice and fish, and rice and chicken stew as the specials of the day. Most of the students ordered rice and fish. The waiter came back after consultation with the chef that they don’t have fish. A surprised student pointed at the ocean and inquired why no fish. The waiter said they don’t have fridge to keep the fish. The disappointed students changed their orders to chicken. The waiter run quickly to the see Master Chef again and came back to say no chicken, but they have eggs so they can boil the eggs in the stew. At this point they just said just bring anything you have. This is just one story of many experienced by tons of people at one place or the other in Ghana. The structures are there but like many things in the country, no oversight, mismanagement…, Mr Acheampong, congratulations on your exploration and highlighting Wassa Domama. I’m hoping these efforts will generate the right dialogue, more exploration and ultimately right prioritization within Ghana and many developing countries.

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    1. Medaase Mr Abdul Mannan . It is my hope that through articles like this, our leaders would realise that tourism indeed is a gold mine and for that matter the quintessential elements needed for this mineral would be made available for the development of our country Ghana.

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  3. Great!!
    Isn’t it beautiful knowing that the industry has such great potential marketers?
    Thanks a lot for adding up to our site list. U make me itch to know the place.
    Get us more we are tired of the castles and museums.
    Thanks buddy. We politicians have much to learn from this.

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  4. I love this piece.Indeed tourism has really benefited the nation,I hope we visit domama wassa soon to witness that scene of creation..

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  5. That’s great Ahmed, I’m glad you using this platform to promote our industry. I hope this wouldn’t be the last but would move to higher heights and honeypot should take us to wassa domama.

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  6. Wow Khankham…you really do well in bringing such information to light. It’s a motivation for some of us..especially me, that i can do more with tourism than i actually thought. Great piece. Looking forward into seeing more great stuff from you.
    Number one follower 🙂

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  7. I remember the day we sat and went through the pictures from your trip…after this piece i feel like i know place so well. Very nice

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  8. Medha, you sold that location perfectly well and I believe if publicised well could send tourist trooping into the country and put us a step forward on the international tourism market. Kudos , keep up the good work.

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  9. wonderful piece. I hope we as a people n a country will see these benefits n appreciate it as they are. this is an eye opener for many of us. good work done! 🙂

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  10. Very interesting and eye opening article. I wish however that there were photographs as well even though your description was quite picturesque, but as you know, photographs do the magic with tourism.

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